Sofia’s Quick and Dirty Guide to Spring Cleaning

Spring cleaning is still a few weeks (thanks a lot, Phil), but we’re getting a jump start on the annual sprucing. Why? Let’s propose a crazy concept – let’s be rebels and tackle spring cleaning in the winter. How about we throw on those Uggs and knock out these chores as [insert your favorite] winter comfort food is slow cooking? After all, we don’t want to be cooped up inside cleaning when the sun finally comes out and temps go above 50. Might as well spend these cold nights knocking out those spring chores! (Bonus, cleaning burns calories). Sold on proactivity? Here’s the one and only Martha Stewart’s chore list to knock out during spring cleaning. Don’t worry, Sofia’s will be right there with you. We’re in this together, guys. 

Time to Strip Down

Cabinets | It’s time to strip down…those cabinets and shelves, that is. You can typically see the dust on an exposed bookshelf, but ignorance is dirty, dirty bliss when it comes to cabinets. Alas, dust and grime are also hiding on your interior cabinets. The solution? Remove the contents and go to town on the whole surface with an all-purpose cleaner. After all, you only do this once a year (versus bookshelves), you might as well do it right.

Beautiful, Inside and Out

Windows | If you want inside to match what’s on the outside, you’re going to have to clean BOTH sides of that glass pane. House Beautiful gives this pro-tip: “Wash ’em on a cloudy day to ensure that the sun won’t dry the cleanser before you’re done wiping.” Wash window screens with warm water and mild dishwashing liquid, scrub each screen with a brush, then rinse. Wash, or dry clean, draperies and curtains. Dust wooden blinds with a feather duster and wipe with a damp cloth. For step-by-step instructions, see page three of Martha’s spring cleaning guide and substitute Sofia’s all-purpose cleaner when she calls for a non-ammoniated cleaner. (Concession, save the windows task for last – there’s no point cleaning all those windows if it snows again.)

It’s not Deeper than Surface Level

Surfaces | Countertops need to be properly cleaned, potentially sealed and dirty grout resealed. Use hydrogen peroxide to disinfect countertops, followed by Sofia’s Soy Cleaner for a gleaming finish. This goes for basically all surfaces – stainless steel, marble, wood, etcetera – but, please clean according to material specs. For example, if you have granite countertops, you’ll want to seal it again a year after insulation (which was, hopefully, properly sealed initially) to prevent stains. Wood floors can be spot-treated with Sofia’s, but will need to be properly conditioned and wet-cleaned in limited amounts (i.e. if you did it last month, skip this month to preserve your floors).

Don’t be a Grout Grouch

Grout | Grimey grout is a by-product of everyday use. Grout is extremely porous, an easy target for stains, grime and discoloration. When (not if) your grout is irreparably stained, The Spruce claims that replacing it is “so easy, you’ll wonder why you didn’t do it sooner.” We’ll let you be the judge with their guide. (Make sure you apply a grout sealant). 

Is your refrigerator running? Well, you’d better catch it before it gets away…

Appliances | Arguably the worst thing to tackle during spring cleaning are the appliances. Let’s start with the largest (i.e. the most daunting) – the fridge. Remove all food and shelves, taking the opportunity to purge old jars and condiments. Wipe down with a hydrogen peroxide solution to disinfect any food-borne bacteria, then wipe down with Sofia’s. Wash shelves in warm, soapy water, dry them and replace, and – finally – organize the fridge contents. Martha also suggests dusting the fridge coils (yes, we aren’t thrilled either). 

Next up is the dreaded oven deep cleaning; here are Martha’s tricks for a clean oven. And then, the dishwasher and microwave. Use Sofia’s to cut food grime, followed by these Good Housekeeping steps for a dishwasher that runs like new. For the microwave, loosen residue with one cup of water mixed with a half-cup of lemon juice heated for 3-5 minutes on high. Use a Sofia’s-soaked towel to wipe down the exterior, then easily remove the grime from inside.

The washing machine and dryer are fairly simple. Clean filters, wipe down the outside, dust underneath (if possible). To clean your washing machine (and eliminate odors caused by front-loading machines), The Spruce says to add two cups of hydrogen peroxide to the empty washer drum and then run a hot water wash cycle.

Pot Calls Kettle Black

Pots + Pans | Stainless steel is prone to stains from heat and hard water. To remove them, apply white vinegar with a soft cloth and rub. Dry thoroughly after washing to prevent filming. Do not soak stainless steel cookware as it pits the surfaces. And, please, don’t spring clean your cast irons – simply scrub the pan with salt and rinse, wipe dry. This will lift away food and preserve the seasoning. 

Photo: Caroline Attwood

Upholstery Woes

Couches and Rugs | Upholstered furniture holds millions of dust mites that can irritate allergies. Use your upholstery and crevice vacuum tools to suck up dust and dirt on upholstered furniture and rugs. Beat cushions by hand outdoors, and shampoo rugs and carpets according to specs (making sure to note that you dry-clean rugs without backings). 

No Dust Bunnies Around These Parts

Dusting | Dust your home thoroughly (including the fans and window casings. Work from the top down and remove shelf contents, wiping them down as well. Vacuum dust that settles on the floor.

Like we said, we’re in this with you. We’re giving away a Sofia’s Spring Cleaning Kit to help you out in every room of the house. The kit includes two microfiber clothes; grout scrubber; two Tuff Scrub microfiber sponges; three-pack sponges; two-pack of Dawn scrubbers; and, a 16-ounce bottle of Sofia’s Soy Cleaner. Entering to win is simple, just like, share or follow on Instagram (@sofiassoycleaner) until March 15.    


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